Early symptoms and sign of breast cancer is not recognized. So screening mammography is a best way to detect breast cancer at a very early stage. Even large breast cancer not show any early symptoms. But when symptoms occurs. the most common symptoms and sign of breast cancer is:
Breast cancer diagnosed by physical exam by self examination of breast or mammography, or ultrasound testing and biopsy.
Treatment of breast cancer is depend on the stage of cancer and the type of breast cancer and it may include surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
There are many type of breast cancer. Some of the most common cancer types are:
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ:
This is the most common breast cancer finds in women. This cancer not spread in body, that’s why it has a very high cure rate.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma:
This type of cancer starts from the glands which produce milk. 10% invasive breast cancer is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer:
One in every ten invasive breast cancer starts in lobes of breast. Sometimes this type is very difficult to diagnose even with mammography because it grows in some different way. MRI is best way to diagnose this type of cancer.
Doctor first test cancer cell, then he will decide which treatment is best for you. Doctor will check the cells have receptor for hormones like oestrogen called HER2. Which breast cancer has not receptor is called
Triple Negative Breast Cancer. UnCommon Types Of Breast Cancer:
Mucinous carcinoma : This type of cancer cell become with mucus producing cells.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer: In this type of cancer, women breast become reddish and feel warm. These changes may occur due to blockage of lymph vessel by cancer cells.
Paget’s Disease of The Nipple: In this type of cancer, it starts in ducts of breast and it spread in nipple and its surrounding area.
Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: In this type of cancer, it has both glandular and cystic features.
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ: This is not cancer, but it increase abnormal cells and it may cause breast cancer in future.
Some more uncommon types of breast cancer are:
What C auses Breast Cancer?
Even we don’t know the reason of breast cancer, but there are lots of risk factors which increase the chance of it. The most common factor is advancing age and family history of breast cancer. Generally, women of age more than 50 has more chances to get breast cancer than younger women.
Breast cancer mostly occurs with the cells in milk producing ducts. It may also occur in glandular tissue or some other cells or tissue in breast.
There are lots of researches on breast cancer, that identify hormones, lifestyle that will increase the chances of breast cancer. But its unknowing why some people who has not any risk factor and develop cancer while people with risk factor never do. So researches say that reason of breast cancer is complex interaction of your DNA and your environment.
There are not any identify risk factor for breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer seems not any sign of risk factor other that simply being women. But there are some factor which associate with risk factor of breast cancer are:
Being Female: Women are much affected with breast cancer than men. If You have had breast cancer in one breast, then it increase the risk of cancer in second breast.
If your mother, sister or daughter having breast cancer in younger age, then it increase the chances of breast cancer in you. But mostly women who suffer with this has no past family history of breast cancer.
There are some gene mutation which increase the risk factor can pass from parents to children. Most common gene mutation are BRCA1 and BRCA2 and these genes increase the risk of breast cancer and other cancer.
In childhood, if you receive any radiation treatment to your chest, then it will also increase the risk factor of cancer.
Obesity also a big factor of breast cancer.
Menstrual Cycle start before age of 12, or having menopause later after 55 age, then it also increase the risk factor. Women which become mother in an older age after 30 has also a big chances of breast cancer.
Women who are unable to get
pregnancy have a very high chance of breast cancer than women who had one or more pregnancies. Using hormone therapy of estrogen and progesterone after menopause also increase the risk factor.
What Tests Do Physicians Use to Diagnose Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer can be diagnose by above sign and symptoms. Doctor can ask you for mammography. It will detect cancer before early symptoms. But mammography has also some limitations, so it may not detect some cancer. So Women with a very high risk can go for a MRI test. MRI and Mammography combined can easily detect breast cancer.
What is HER2-Positive
HER2 Breast cancer is a cancer which is very aggressive that other type of breast cancer. Its a test positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, which increase the cancer cells very fast.
One of every five breast cancer has gene mutation which makes plenty of HER2 protein and its the reason cells grow and spread much faster than normal level of protein.
These are very less sensitive to hormone therapy, so people suffering with HER2 breast cancer can get treatment with hormonal therapy.
What Tests Detect HER2?
The patient who is suffering with invasive breast cancer, doctor will recommend him to test their tumor cells for HER2.
There are four type of tests which can help to detect HER2. You may do detail discussion about this test with your doctor. He may use either immunohistochemistry (IHC) to identify the HER2 protein or in-situ hybridization (ISH) test for detecting gene.
IHC Test: In this test, doctor can see the amount of HER2 protein in the cancer cells and he give grade 0-3 as per the amount.
FISH Test: This test help to detect any copy of HER2 gene in cancer cells. This test may be positive or negative.
SPoT-Light HER2 CISH Test: This test is also help to detect if there are many copies of HER2 gene in cancer cells.
Inform HER2 Dual ISH Test: This is another way to detect too many copies of HER2 gene in cancer cell. It may also positive or negetive. What Are Therapies For HER2-Positive Breast Cancers?
You should discus with doctor about all type of therapies. He will tell you best therapy as per your condition. There are lots of drugs which help in HER2 breast cancer:
Trastuzumab: This drug is monoclonal antibody and its given by itself or with chemotherapy to treat HER2 positive cancer.
Pertuzumab: This is also a monoclonal antibody tablet which help in breast cancer treatment.
Ado-trastuzumab emtansine or TDM-1: This tablet is attached with chemotherapy drugs and its also a monclonal atibody.
Lapatinib : This tablet use to adjunct with chemotherapy drugs. How Are Breast Cancer Stages Determined?
We calculate stage how much cancer cell present in body and how much it spread in the body. Doctor will suggest you which therapy or treatment is best after checking stage and type of breast cancer and how much chances of survival you have.
There are lots of tests which help to check the stages of breast cancer:
X-Ray: It will help to check how much cancer cells spread in lung.
Mammograms: It helps to detect more abnormalities and give much better information about breast cancer.
Computerized tomography (CT scan): This is also one kind of x-ray but its gives much better result than normal x-ray. Doctor can check cancer at other part of the body and he can also check how much it spread in lung. Doctor may check brain, lung and other part of the body for reason of concern.
Bone scan: Doctor will do bone scan if he want to check either cancer has spread in bones. A very low level radioactive material injected in bloodstream. And after some hours images are taken to determine if there is any uptake in certain bone areas which indicating metastasis.
Positron emission tomography (PET scan): In this test, a radioactive material injected, and it has absorbed by growing cells. Then PET scan help to detect that area where cancer cells are present. Staging System:
Doctor use this system to summarize stages and type of cancer and he will check which one the best treatment should be given to the patient. Doctor will also check how much tumor has been spread in body.
This system use numbers and charterers to explain tumor characteristics in a mannered way.
T: T stand for the size of the tumor and it is followed by 0-4 number. Higher the number, higher the size of tumor.
TX: It tells primer tumor can not be assessed.
T0:It means there is no evidence of primary tumor.
Tis: Carcinoma in situ
T1: It means tumor is 2 cm or less.
T2: It means tumor is 2cm to 5 cm.
T3: It means tumor is larger than 5 cm.
T4: It a dangerous stage and tumor growing into chest and skin.
N: N stand for how much tumor spread to nearly lymph nodes. It followed by no. 0-3.
NX: Nearby lymph nodes can not be assessed.
N0: It means tumor is not spread to lymph nodes. This staging stage is modified by designation “
i+” , this is if cancer cell seen by immunohistochemistry only and “mol+” if the tumor cell detect only by PCR. N1: It means
Tumor has spread one to three axillary lymph nodes or a very small tumor has spotted in the internal mammary lymph nodes. N2: It means cancer has spread four to nine axillary lymph nodes.
N3: If any of the following condition
Cancer has spread more than 10 or more axillary lymph nodes and at least one cancer spread larger than 2 mm.
If tumor has spread to lymph nodes under the clavicle with cancer spread more than 2mm.
M: M followed by 0-1 letters and it explain that cancer has spread in other part of the body.
MX: Metastasis cannot be assessed.
M0: It means there is no spread of tumor found in imaginary process or in physical exam.
M1: It means tumor has been spread to other organ of the body.
Once T,N and M categories has been determined, this group is called staging group. Major staging groups are 5 which are 0 to IV which are also subdivided into A and B or A, B and C. It depends on the underlying cancer and T,N and M scale.
What Are Breast Cancer Medical Treatments?
There are lots of treatment available for breast cancer patients. Most of the treatments are targeting types of cancer and staging group. You should discus with your doctor about treatment options. There are some medical treatment options which help in breast cancer.
Surgery is one of the most useful treatment option for breast cancer patients. This treatment is also divided into
Breast-Conserving Surgery and Mastectomy.
Breast Cancer Surgury
In this surgery, doctor can remove only part of the breast. It is mostly depend on size and location of the tumor.
If tumor is in
Lumpectomy, then only breast lump and some nearby tissue is removed. This surrounded tissue tested for cancer cells and if no evidence of cancer cells are found in this, then it is called negative margin. Frequently, radiation therapy given after lumpectomies. Mastectomy
In mastectomy, all breast tissue removed but overlying skin is preserved.
In this surgery, doctor remove the axillary lymph nodes and chest wall muscles in addition to the breast. Modified Radical Mastectomy very effective in most of the cases.
Modified Radical Mastectomy
In addition to the breast tissue, doctor removes axillary lymph nodes only. When doctor confirm the stage of cancer, he will give you option between mastectomy and lumpectomy.
This surgery has an option to remove all breast for Patients with a very high risk of cancer. After that risk of breast cancer reduce but a little bit chances of cancer remain.
There is a surgical option
Double Mastectomy for breast cancer patients. This is a great option to reduce chances of breast cancer upto 80% . You should discus this with your doctor very carefully. You may ask him for risk factor or any other option like medication. Radiation Therapy
In this therapy, cancer cells kill by very high radiation rays. Two type of radiation therapy available to treat breast cancer:
External Beam Radiation: This is a very common way of this therapy given to the cancer patients. In this way, a strong beam of radiation sent to the affected area. This process is done by a machine. This process run 5 days in a week for 5-6 weeks.
Brachytherapy: In this process, a radioactive seeds implanted next to the breast cancer. Chemotherapy:
This is a medication treatment in which medicines are given by either with injection or by mouth. Medicine run through bloodstreams to the cancer affected area.
This therapy is usually used to decrease risk factor after surgical process.